Live events sector
Viagogo has been fined one million Euros by the Italian competition (antitrust) agency, AGCM, for failling to comply with instructions issued by the agency in April 2017. At the time, Viagogo and three other resale sites were fined a collective €700,000 for failing to provide complete ticket information to consumers
According to Pollstar, AGCM found that Viagogo misled customers by not making original ticket prices and the location of seats sold easily known in violation of articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Italian consumer code. AGCM told Viagogo to fix the discrepancy within sixty days, and the resale site agreed to indicate the face value price and seat number on its platform.
This it seems Viagogo have not done so, and AGCM says that it has received numerous complaints from both consumers and consumer associates about the site’s failure to rectify this situation. AGCM has now imposed a fine of one million Euros on the company. Viagogo can appeal the decision to the Lazio Regional Administrative Court in Rome.
Although a set back for Viagogo, they may yet prevail: CTS Eventim’s TicketOne recently successfully appealed a €1m fine in Italy, for allegedly passing tickets directly to secondary sites, and will be reimbursed by AGCM.
Prosecutors from Valencia, Spain have also launched an investigation involving Viagogo’s business practices. Pollstar reports that the prosecutors suspect “possible abusive behavior against consumers” for two U2’s shows in Madrid in September and whether the company’s actions constitute “abusive conduct” under Spanish law. According to 20 Minutos, the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalía) of Valencia has received several complaints from consumers after U2 tickets sold out “in a few minutes” and were listed on Viagogo for up to €1,500 shortly after.
Indeed the now Swiss based secondary platform is attracting interest from regulators around the World and New Zealand, the U.K., and Australia all have ongoing investigations of the company’s operations. New Zealand has made public more than 200 complaints about upcoming events Concerns over ticket prices for U2’s 2018 Experience + Innocence European tour have also prompted authorities in the Netherlands into action, with the Dutch culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven announcing that she is to consult the local live music business on potential regulation of the secondary ticket market.